Olympic silver medallist Ryan Owens to retire from track cycling

Olympic silver medallist Ryan Owens to retire from track cycling   

Ryan Owens has announced his retirement from the Great Britain Cycling Team, after a stellar career in track sprinting that has seen him amass Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth medals over almost a decade.

Owens will be stepping away from competitive cycling to move into a full-time role in strategy consultancy, having recently completed a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) alongside his training. 

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who both competed themselves, Owens picked up the sport at the age of 11 and enjoyed consistent success at a national level.  

His performances attracted the attention of the Great Britain Cycling Team who handed him a trial with the sprint squad in September 2015, before swiftly progressing on to the then Senior Academy to train full-time and follow his Olympic dream.  

Impressive progress saw Owens take back-to-back gold medals in the team sprint at UCI Track Cycling World Cup rounds in 2016, as well as a silver medal in the same event at the UEC Under-23 Track European Championships and a selection as reserve for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  

These performances earned Owens his first world championships selection, in 2017 in Hong Kong, where he finished fourth in the individual sprint. The following year brought another opportunity where Owens went on to win his first world championship medal, a silver as part of a five-man team sprint squad alongside Sir Jason Kenny, Phil Hindes, Jack Carlin and Joe Truman, just losing out in the final to the home Dutch team. 

The following month, Owens added a first Commonwealth Games medal to his growing collection – teaming up with Hindes and Truman for Team England to win team sprint silver in Australia.  

More success followed in 2019, with three team sprint silver medals across the European Championships and two world cups, followed by another team sprint silver at the 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.  

Having delivered consistent medal success since joining the GBCT sprint programme, Owens was selected alongside Kenny and Carlin as the sprint squad for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. After strong qualifying rounds, the trio faced long-standing rivals the Netherlands in the gold medal ride off and having kicked off with a blistering pace on the first lap, Owens was rewarded with a silver medal.  

Owens began pursuing a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) qualification at the London Business School. Having balanced this with track and gym training throughout, Owens has now decided that the time is right to hang up his wheels, before taking up a strategy consultancy role later in the year, after working full-time during the summer for Team GB.  

On his retirement and time on the GBCT programme, Owens said: “Over the past eight years with the Great Britian Cycling Team, I’ve truly been able to live out my childhood dream and I’ll look back at my time as an athlete with immense pride.   

“I will savour the memories of the friends I’ve made, the places I’ve travelled, the people I’ve worked with, and the opportunities I’ve had to represent my country, all through my love of riding my bike.”  

Stephen Park CBE, Performance Director for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said: “Ryan has been a valuable and well-liked member of the Great Britian Cycling Team for almost 10 years now, and in that time has delivered a number of impressive results as part of our men’s sprint squad. Specifically, he has seen great success playing a key role in the team sprint squad, where he won his silver Olympic medal in Tokyo – a moment which I’m sure will stay with him for life.  

“As a team, we put a lot of work into making sure our riders are encouraged to pursue their interests outside of cycling, and to develop skills that will stand them in good stead when their cycling career does come to a close. Ryan is a fantastic example of this, and it’s been great to see him complete his MBA qualification which has given him with the skills and confidence to move into what I’m sure will be an incredibly successful career now he has decided to hang up his wheels, and the whole team wishes him all the best.”  

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